I think I have mentioned before that I am in peri-menopause at this time in my life, and it is sometimes not the most pleasant thing in the world. I could write an entire book about all of the things one goes through in relation to this little adventure, which can last on average, about ten years. But I am not going to do that, because it would probably take about that long to finish, and quite frankly my dear ones, I just have better things to write about! So, BAM! Ha Ha.
Truthfully, I had not been prepared to start this lovely process involving constant chemical changes raging within as a forty-something woman, and all I had ever heard about in relation to it was that hot flashes and mood swings would be part of the game. No worries!
BAM, right back at me with a deadly right hook and a nice little set of symptoms I didn’t know about to contend with!!! We now have a declaration of war!
There are soooo many other things that happen as a result of this little tug of war between your hormones, and it is not EVEN funny! One set of them that I have experienced to a level that has my jaw gaping in utter disbelief is joint pain, fatigue, and deep tissue muscle pain. I wake up every day wondering to myself, “If it feels like this at the age of 46, I don’t know how my in-laws in their 80’s have any quality of life at all.” Then I have to remember that this too, shall pass.
It all peaked at a point of desperation a few months back when my husband and I realized that this battle for my body and the way that it functions is continuing to escalate and suck the life right out of me. So we knew that I was going to have to do something to alleviate the casualties of war, and fast! “Menopause? You’re a punk!”
Rather than invest a ton of money into going to chiropractors, doctors, accupuncturists (although I may try that one), or a whole bunch of herbs and remedies, I did a lot of research and talked to lots of women and found that massage therapy was one of the most effective ways of alleviating some of the pain associated with these symptoms.
I can tell you this now, and this is the absolute truth – this has not resulted in a hormonal peace agreement nor a ceasefire, but it definitely has thwarted the plans of the enemy and prevented further ambushes from taking out my good troops. One or two good massages per month and a little strategizing, planning, and dedicated maintenance is not very expensive and really pays off! I truly do feel so much better.
Although perimenopause and the pain and symptoms involved with it is a minute thing to deal with in life when compared with other things that are much more devastating, it is pervasive and can absolutely overtake one’s entire existence if steps aren’t taken to better cope with it along the way. After all, I have Jesus to focus upon and joy to live out and this is competing for far too much of my attention and energy at this point. I don’t think it’s good at all to be a complainer, and this was really giving me a run for my money in that department!You may have heard the potter/clay analogies and teachings from the Bible before – I have too. What I am going through now at this stage in my life has given me a real and practical, personal application for it – I am literally watching it as it is happening, my Almighty Father, the Potter, molding me – His clay, and I am grateful for the fresh perspective He is giving me.
Here is my story…………
I have the greatest massage therapist in the world. She is strong, compassionate, and far and beyond one of the most educated people I have ever met when it comes to the human body and all of the things that exacerbate our aches and pains.
Her hands are so strong, but emanate grace and care for her patients. But because of her own occupation, she can experience pain too. She has carpel tunnel syndrome, and her hands seize up on her late at night at times. She has neck pain from standing over and leaning into people’s backs and muscles to get deep enough to bring them some relief. But she keeps on going, never complains, and you would never know she is suffering in any way while she is diligently working and kneading your body to a state of peace and reprieve from pain.
These massages that I get are not tickle massages – they are a workout through and through (mostly for her, and then my muscles feel it later). They last for about two hours, and she digs in to every single muscle, tendon, and attachment (those are deeeep down). Not one square inch of me is left untouched by the time she is finished. She knows everything about my body, has seen every stretch mark, every scar, any bruises, all my broken blood vessels, all my dull and old skin, and believe me when I say this; there is no where for any residual fat one may have lurking below left to hide when it comes to this one!
One is fully exposed and completely vulnerable when submitting to this process – trust is absolutely essential. There is no room for shame or holding back and resisting, lest no headway be made. Aside from having a baby, I have never been so exposed, and she is nothing but gracious to me. I’m a well-cared for baby in her hands.
She knows my body. And she listens to it to see what has changed since the last time I have seen her. She tailors what she knows she needs to do for my own good to what she knows I can actually withstand. But she does ask for something in return from me too – I am asked to go home and take a bath in epsom salts after each session to draw what she has brought up to the surface the rest of the way out. This not only purges the rest of the toxins out of the tissue, but then redeposits certain things your body needs back in for you all at the same time. I am told to drink plenty of extra fluids and keep my water intake up every day between visits. I am asked to roller out my back and do specific stretches every night to maintain my results and heal. And of course, my lifestyle in general needs to consist of good sleep, stress reduction, exercise, excellent nutrition and sound mental and emotional health. I have no problem with that.
Along with that physical battle these fun little hormones cause, there will always be another war raging within me that is just as life-consuming and debilitating, and one that is far more influential in my life than the one my hormones have undertaken. This one is spiritual – and one that is lifelong until I go home to be with my Savior for all eternity.
Sin enters in and spreads its poison and goes to bat against the Holy Spirit who lives inside of me. And there is no masseuse on this planet who can help me to fight that kind of battle with any kind of lasting power.
But, thankfully, I do know someone else who has that kind of power and He lives within me! His name is Jesus Christ and He isn’t about to be kicked out of the home He has made in my heart. He has divinely empowered hands – and He knows me inside and out (physically, spiritually, in every way) like no other. He molds me into what He wants me to become (more like Him) if I submit myself into His holy and healing hands.
This is not something than happens simply due to a 10 year “change of life”, nor is it something that ends after roughly ten years of good therapy. It happens because of sin that we contend with and fight against as Christians, as we are still flawed human beings too. Thankfully, if we are saved, our sins are covered by the blood of Jesus, but life still takes a toll upon us as it dishes out more than we can take sometimes and we are sometimes overcome by temptation and the poison of sin.
I’m so grateful that the Lord never stops molding us and working with us, His clay. He is intent on bringing about a complete transformation and restoration for us as we journey through this earthly life until the very day that we go to spend our eternal one with Him. There, we will experience no sin, no sorrow, no aches or pains, no tears, no suffering. And there, we will STILL be in His hands.
And like my dear massage therapist, His hands have taken a beating for us – they press us and shape us and sometimes there is pain involved. Yet His own hands show us that He knows pain – not pain from His own sin, but that which He chose to take upon Himself because of ours -OUR SIN.
He did this for us on the cross, and because of it, we are seen as righteous in the eyes of God. His hands were pierced and He was nailed to it – for you – for me! I can place myself, like putty in those beautiful hands, because I trust upon Him – and He has done far more for me and withstood far more pain for me than I could ever begin to imagine.
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the
righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:21
He knows just how much therapy to provide…just how much I can withstand. He is patient, yet tough when I need it. He digs deep, if only I will surrender. He re-deposits His living water inside of me to replenish the tired and sore spots we are working on at any given time. He cares for me as he molds me, blesses me, and transforms me through the work of His glorious and mighty hands.
I could stay there forever, and I have decided that I will.
I am already spotless in the eyes of the Lord because Jesus Christ died on the cross for my sins, rose again, and I accepted His gift of salvation. I am a new creature in Him, and just as the bible says, all the old has passed away and I am a new creation. But I still live in this flesh and walk upon this earthly land, so I continue to grow – and to grow to be more like the Holy One, shedding of the stuff that likes to creep in and stunt that very growth is necessary. We pick up toxins as we walk along this earthly path in life – ugliness creeps in no matter how hard we try – the elements wreak havoc on our spiritual newness in Him, and we must be willing to submit to being worked over by Him in order to bear good fruit. I am more than grateful to be like putty in my Savior’s hands.
He has my body in his hands. He has my heart in his hands. He has my life in his hands. And I am putty in His hands. He’s got the whole world in those hands too – right in His very palm – at the tips of His almighty fingers.
It’s all under control.
One day I will see more clearly how going through menopause is all for a good cause – but for now, I am just thankful that I am loved and molded by Him…..whatever place I might be in – whatever “stage in life” happens to come my way. And…I am so thankful that He loves us, even “while we were still sinners” – so very thankful that He loves us just the way we are………..
Yet, O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand. Isaiah 64:8
If you haven’t already, might you accept His healing touch in your life today?